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March's Journal

So yes, April. Half way through the month and I've got lots to tell you already. So let's get to it.

After driving to Skipton train station on the Sunday we then pulled on our running kit, and having packed very lightly, left the car in the station car park and ran along the Dales Highway to Settle/Giggleswick over the course of the day. We arrived, bemoaning just how wet the country still is, tired, but feeling proud of ourselves at the pub we were going to eat and sleep at before the weather got too cold, and the light too dim. After some good food, and a decent night's sleep, and then breakfast (very important), we headed out to run on to Ribblehead. This took us over some extremely exposed dales, through some moderately poor weather (wind, light rain whipped up to high speeds), and up and down some rather steep contours. This was all part of a recce for Rel to run a race called the Dales Highway later in the year. I don't envy her doing it all in one go. Especially as we only did about 35 miles, and the full thing is close to 90 miles. We got to Ribblehead (a train station in the middle of nowhere) and took an extremely packed post-Easter train back to Skipton to collect the car and drive home. After we both collapsed at home for the night Rel then drove us both back to my house as we were going to use the car the following weekend. We arrived in time to do a Tesco shop, and then an afternoon of work, which was handy. The rest of the week passed in a blur, frankly.

Suddenly it was the first weekend of April and we were driving to the Malverns to visit our friend Fi and her two dogs (Nora and Elly). That was tons of fun, even if the walks we went on were a bit more tiring than I was expecting or ready for after the previous weekend. Everything in the Malverns appears to be up from everywhere else. The only other place I've ever found that was Edinburgh. But this time we were on grass, rather than pavement. We had a smashing time there, and really enjoyed being laid on by both dogs, as well as some nice food, drink, and conversation with Fi.

Back home again it was my birthday week. On the Tuesday there was a social gathering which nearly coincided with my birthday, so although Rel was still in London by the evening, I went out with everyone else and had a lovely time (although it was nice to get home after a loud evening and sit in the quiet with Rel). More patching, more running, and then the second weekend of the month and Rel off to run the South Downs Way 50 mile race on the Saturday. I did parkrun and other things in the morning and then dot-watched her tracker for the remainder of the day. She did really well in conditions that I would have had issues with (got hotter throughout the day). I, however, was saving myself for the Northstowe Half Marathon on the Sunday. Another fairly easy race to get to, and quite small, as events go. The course was dry, but a mix of terrains. I'd like to say that's why I didn't break 1h30m again (and in fact was slower than some of my other half marathons this year), but I think it was a combination of going off a little too fast, and maybe just being a bit older and less able to keep going at the pace that that time requires.

Anyway, that's another race done and another one to look forward to in May. That'll be the Great Manchester Run, which I'll combine with a visit to see my parents again. Although I am off to see them this weekend too. Between now and the coming weekend it's the migration of the Finance system's live service to the new servers and new SAN, and I'm involved both at the periphery and in the middle of things, depending on the stage (and what goes wrong). More on how that goes either in another entry this month, or in May's.

For now though I'm off to be rested for the remainder of the week, and to hope that the changeable weather doesn't affect my travel to work tomorrow (office day) and on the weekend...